Durability of engineered wood flooring
March 31, 2024 1:51 PM   Subscribe

We have found flooring we really like, but now I'm getting cold feet that I may not have thought through the durability aspect as much as the aesthetics. Anyone have thoughts on engineered wood floor? It does come with a 100 year residential warranty so that makes me think that it's probably pretty ok, or am I missing something major I should consider?

We're looking at one of the Bellawood engineered wood products from LLFlooring. We have tried to stain it with this art paint that we could barely get off our current floor, and we left a puddle of water on it for an hour, and it seems to do ok. We don't like vinyl, so the Luxury Vinyl Tile product is out.

We're on a slab so the potential installers who came out to quote the project said that solid hardwood is out. Our current flooring is that old cheap thin laminate that's made out of like, cardboard, and there aren't signs of water related to the slab (it's not doing so well where someone installed it in the bathroom).

I'm hoping that this plan sounds ok, but please let me know if I am missing something, thank you!
posted by Spokane to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It’s not going to last 100 years (and neither will the company that is in theory backing the warranty. LL is the rebrand of Lumber Liquidators after they were caught selling toxic imported flooring. It was just taken private last fall, so it’s most likely going the way of toys r us and Bed bath and beyond in a few years.)

That said, decent engineered wood will most likely last a few decades with minimal maintenance.
posted by rockindata at 4:33 PM on March 31 [4 favorites]

Solid hardwood is doable over concrete. You just have to put a 3/4" plywood subfloor layer in.

That will obviously increase the height of the floors, and thus reduce the height of the rooms.

It may also cause issues with some doors. Wooden doors can be trimmed at the bottom to accommodate this. Metal doors are more of a problem, but you could potentially do a different type of flooring around a metal door (like a front or back door).
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 4:51 PM on March 31 [5 favorites]

We've had eng. wood on top of slab for about 10 years, replacing old laminate floors. I think it looks nice and has held up well imo - we don't have it in our kitchen or laundry room and while we have indoor/outdoor cats we don't have dogs so I can't speak to it's durability in any of those environments. It looks the worse under/around our dinner table, I think this is more to our lack of sufficiently cleaning up than the floor, I think there's been a time or two when something like a rock got caught on someone's foot and sat under the table and then scratched the floor. But there's very little obviously worn places besides that area.
posted by snowymorninblues at 8:22 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]

I fitted out our kitchen with engineered oak flooring a few years ago, and it's held up well so far. The thickness of the hardwood means it can be re-sanded once or twice, which isn't a massive down-side compared to solid wood. Plus it's more dimensionally stable due to the plywood layers. Ours came with a factory-applied finish which seems pretty tough. As it's over a concrete slab it's installed as a floating floor with glue joints There's one small area where the builder wasn't able to level the floor quite enough, so there's a slight creak there if you know where to step, but that would have been an issue with any floating floor.
posted by pipeski at 3:29 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]

It’s not going to last 100 years (and neither will the company that is in theory backing the warranty.

The warranty on flooring is generally just for manufacturing defects anyways, it's not a 'wear warranty', and flooring is a 'fashion' product, so they don't keep the same colors in stock (unless you get a very basic one) for more than a year or two. So I wouldn't count on the warranty being worth anything, even if they were around 100 years.

Unless of course it falls apart in a year or two due to a manufacturing defect, or your installer identifies a manufacturing defect.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:27 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for all the comments! We made the purchase right before the sale ended last night. I didn't expect a real 100 year warranty, by the way; I should've clarified that I mentioned that to say we weren't buying the lowest quality engineered option. (A lot have shorter nominal warranties.) It's a relief to hear you all have had decent experiences with it. Thanks!
posted by Spokane at 9:17 AM on April 1

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